Davenport Discusses School Start Times - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Davenport Discusses School Start Times

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The Davenport School District wants to shake up when school starts for its students.

The school board is trying to balance the learning time for each school.

Getting them in line with each other to give all kids the same time in a classroom.

The proposed schedule generally flips the start times around.

High schools will start class last, at 8:50.

Most elementary schools will start first at 7:45.

Parent feedback is part of figuring out if the district has thought of every issue.

The proposal was already changed from last night's meeting.

Four schools, Wilson, West, Sudlow and Washington have had their release times adjusted.

The change addresses concerns raised about potential safety issues.

Wednesday's meeting raised more concerns, from family dinners to grade school sleep schedules.

"Most teams practice for about two hours after school, practices are starting at 4 and getting out at 6, people are going to get home at the earliest at 6:30, that's bad for all the families that want to have a family dinner," said one speaker at the meeting.

Parents and students voicing their comments and concerns on Davenport school start times focused on extra curriculars and work schedules. Wondering if the goal of getting high schoolers more sleep would have negative impacts elsewhere.

"I have a younger brother, so if he gets out before I do, I won't be able to watch him," said one student.

Superintendent Art Tate says the board isn't proposing change just for the sake of it. It wants the schedule to iron out extremely varied hours at some of its buildings.

"We had one school that had 12 days less if you added all the hours per year of instruction compared to another school," said Superintendent Tate.

The board also wants to push the high school start times back. It's a decision reflecting research showing teenaged brains produce a sleep chemical until about eight am. High schoolers need a chance for their brains to wake up. Although some question the sleep schedule for younger kids.

"We have one bus at the Cross Creek apartments, and they get to our school right at 7:30," said one concerned Davenport staff member.

Getting younger children to school earlier means getting them up earlier. The district's proposal shows start times for elementary schools change the least, up to a half hour at most. Still, young kids need more sleep than high schoolers.

"The families will need to get them up between 6 and 6:15, the 10 to 12 hours of sleep means that somewhere between 6:15 and 8:15 at night, the elementary students need to get to bed."

The district does not have any more public meetings scheduled.

However it's not done taking public comments on the start times.

People can send emails to the district.

The school board will discuss the issue on April 7th during its committee of the whole meeting.

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